What is RSS?
What is RSS?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. Basically, it’s a “news feed” subscription of your favorite website or blog that’s delivered to your “RSS reader”, Internet desktop or email whenever the site has an update. Think of RSS as an automated version of the bookmarking system that you might be currently using.
How to Use RSS
There are many feed readers, but two good (free) ones are Google Reader and Bloglines. Also, your Internet provider might allow RSS feeds to sit right on your Internet browser desktop. Some that you may be familiar with include MyYahoo, MyMSN and MyGoogle.
If you decide to use a feed reader like Google Reader or Bloglines, they work like email. As you subscribe to feeds, you’ll see a list of entries on your feed reader to sites that you’re tracking once you log in. As new posts accumulate, they will show up in your feed reader in a bold print–similar to an unread email.
Once you receive new posts into your feed reader, you have three options. You can read each of the posts directly through your reader, click right through to the actual blog or website to read them, or move to the next unread post, marking the current post as “read”–similar to what you’d do in your email account.
The best way to learn how to use either Google Reader or Bloglines is by subscribing to several feeds and trying them out. Both feed reader sites have excellent help sections to get you started. For other free feed reader programs search “Top 10 free feed readers”.
Finding RSS Feeds
As you surf the Internet, you’ll find RSS subscription buttons that appear on your favorite blogs and websites. Typically, they are little orange buttons, but you may see them in other forms as well. A couple are shown below:
There are others, but if you see anything that looks like a button, most likely the site that you’re visiting has an RSS feed that you can subscribe to.
Subscribing to RSS Feeds
Generally, you can subscribe to your favorite sites by copying and pasting the link associated with the button into your RSS feed reader or you can click the button and follow the directions to subscribing with the feed reader or Internet provider of your choice.
Also, many Internet providers have RSS feeds built right into their browsers. You’ll typically see a little box with an RSS feed in the bottom right hand corner of your browser or there may be one in the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL.
To easily subscribe to your favorite RSS feeds (through your feed reader) by clicking on the icons, you’ll want to set up your browser to pick up your feed reader by default. You can do this by going to the “Preferences” in your browser and choose your feed reader as the default once you’ve signed up for an account.
Once you’ve subscribed to a few feeds, you’ll begin to see new items show up in your feed reader or on your Internet provider’s browser desktop as they become available.
NOTE: You can unsubscribe very easily should you decide you do not want and RSS feed anymore.
Email is another Option for Subscriptions
If RSS feeds seem a little too complicated for you, many blogs and websites also provide subscriptions to their RSS feeds through email. Check your favorite site for a box where you can enter your email address. Once you’ve subscribed using your email address, you’ll get the latest posts delivered straight to you email account. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Just so you know, on this site, your email will be kept private and will not be used for any other purpose besides updates to the site. We hate spam as much as you do, so we would never give your email to another party. And, should you decide that you no longer want to subscribe, unsubscribe is just one click away.